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My Project


Overcame Faith
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I have been thinking carefully about this. I would like to begin a project designed to help us and others explore our collective experience with leaving Christianity behind. Though at the time I did not have a full scale project in mind, I recently posted two polls on the Ex-Christian Life forum asking about when we became Christians and how intense our Christian and deconversion experiences were. There have been good responses to these two polls. But these polls are very surface and there is much depth that can and, in my opinion, should be explored.

 

I plan to go much deeper in my exploration of the issues involved in leaving Christianity through a series of polls posted on the Ex-Christian Life forum. I will try not to make any one poll too long so you can complete it within a reasonable time. Each poll will cover a different topic. Ultimately, I plan to gather the data and bring it all together for all to see in a post (or possibly a series of posts). I will give the raw data and I will make my own comments as well. Of course, each of you will be able to comment also.

 

The goal is to help each of us better understand the deconversion experiences that we have collectively undergone and possibly to give us some insights on how to handle such tough issues as pain, guilt, fear, family issues, etc. From a wider perspective, the goal is also to help those who are now or who in the future will go through the experience themselves.

 

I have begun writing the questions for the new polls already. They may call some difficult issues to your minds, even some as yet unresolved issues. Even as I write the questions, I find myself going back in time remembering the joy and the heartache, the triumph and surrender, the elevation and the depression. So I warn you, this may not be easy, but it can be helpful to ourselves and to others.

 

I am willing to do this work, though like the rest of you I have a day job and can't devote myself full-time to this project, because I think it will be therapeutic for the participants and to others and, therefore, worthwhile. All I ask in return is for your full participation. Please take the polls seriously (as I know you will) and give the questions careful consideration. The more responses the better.

 

Finally, I want to discuss who should participate in the polls. Here are the guidelines:

 

1. Ex-Christians only should participate (no Christians).

2. If you were at one time in your life what you considered to be a Christian but have determined in your own mind that Christianity is a false religion, then for these purposes you are an ExChristian.

3. It does not matter how much time has passed since you determined that Christianity is a false religion. If it was just today or 30 years ago, I ask you to participate.

4. You do not have to have resolved the various issues related to your deconversion to participate, though if you have resolved some or all of those issues, your participation is sought.

5. So long as you are an ExChristian as defined above, it does not matter whether you currently practice another religion (except Christianity). For example, so long as you are an ExChristian, if you are currently a practicing Buddhist, Pagan, Jew, Moslem, etc., you are welcome and encouraged to participate.

6. Take the poll questions seriously and give proper thought and reflection before making your answers.

7. Be open and honest in your answers.

 

I look forward to learning what we will all learn about ourselves.

 

Thanks.

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It would be an interesting project for a good writer to write a fictional story about someone who deconverts in a way that represents a typical deconversion experience.

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I will use this thread to do my best to keep everyone updated on this project.

 

To date, I have posted four separate surveys. The first two are located here:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/42508-childhoodteenage-christians-poll/

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/42515-poll-how-intense-was-your-christian-and-exchristian-experience/

 

The above two were the first ones that I posted. It was from seeing these results that I really became convinced that there was much more that should be learned on the subject. That has led me to prepare a much more rigorous and thorough set of polls. I have posted the following two, which are really parts 1 and part 2, of a single poll designed to find out about our current demographics, including our past and present church attendance and participation. They are located here:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/42561-poll-who-are-we-part-1-of-2/

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/42563-who-are-we-part-2-of-2/

 

There are limitations here that I am learning to work with. One of the limitations is that the polls are limited to 10 questions. However, the good news is that within that parameter, the software is actually pretty good with a lot of flexibility. In the future, I will try my best to work around the ten question limitation by trying to keep the particular subject matter down to ten questions. Thus, if I have a larger topic like I am working on now, "Our Personal Deconversion Experience", I will break that down into subparts of no more than ten questions and, rather than post multiple polls at once, post one subpart, give all of you time to respond, and then post another subpart.

 

This process can take quite a while. The key is for you to participate, which you have been doing marvelously.

 

Some of the future polls will really start to get personal and may even be difficult for some of you because I will be asking you to go back in time and relive what might be some difficult things in your lives. But I am also responding to the polls so I am not asking anything of any of you that I am also not doing.

 

Please, please participate.

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I'd love to participate in the project. Sounds like a great idea. I too wish you could do more than 10.

 

Great. Your responses to the polls are greatly desired as well as any general comments or suggestions.

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Ambitious project, I'll participate in all the polls and look forward to seeing the outcome!

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Ambitious project, I'll participate in all the polls and look forward to seeing the outcome!

 

Good, thank-you.

 

On another thread, Vomit Comet, a social scientist very familiar with proper survey techniques, has volunteered to work with me on this project. I have gladly agreed so we can do this thing right and make our best effort to get to the bottom of these important issues as well as we can.

 

I'll report more after I know more. Stay tuned.

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